UNIVERSITY BEGINS PLANNING FOR PERFORMANCE GYM - Construction scheduled for mid-2001
NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz is proceeding with design and development plans for a two-court performance gymnasium that will be connected to its existing Elting Gym.
The new gymnasium facility will include two full-size basketball courts, an indoor fitness track, a climbing wall and several fitness rooms. It is expected to cost between $10 and $12.4 million. The Hillier Group Inc., an architectural firm based in New York City, is designing the facility. Under the current schedule, construction is expected to begin by next summer.
Construction of the new gym is the first of several phases of projected university athletic facility upgrades. While still in the conceptual phase, the university's long-term plans include an aquatic center that conforms to NCAA swimming and diving guidelines, an ice skating rink, renovating Elting Gym and enclosing the outdoor tennis courts adjacent to Elting Gym. Additionally, a new outdoor track is part of a project to be funded separately.
"This first step is much needed and overdue," said SUNY New Paltz President Roger Bowen. "Athletic facilities are a quality of life concern for all of our students, not just our student athletes. The new gym will give our students access to a full range of fitness and recreation equipment and programs, while giving our student athletes a facility that is more appropriate for collegiate sports competition."
SUNY New Paltz athletic director James Zalacca said, "We're excited to see the design phase progressing. We look forward to working with the architect, the construction fund and the campus community to continue developing the design of this facility, which promises to benefit everyone interested in athletics and a healthy lifestyle."
The university is planning the construction work so that there will be minimal impact on athletic teams and current facilities. For example, major renovation work in Elting Gym will not begin until the new gym is completed in 2003. However, the new gym will be built on the site of the current air structure, which houses indoor tennis courts. Covering the remaining outdoor tennis courts is part of the long-term plan, but that work is not yet funded or scheduled.
"Indoor tennis courts are very popular with the campus community and our New Paltz neighbors," said Bowen. "We'll move these construction projects as quickly as we can, but there was no doubt that the performance gymnasium addresses many of our most pressing needs in terms of athletic and fitness facilities."
The athletic facility upgrades are the latest in a series of construction projects that are enhancing the academic excellence and quality of life at the New Paltz campus. In August, the university will begin construction on the first of two new residence halls at the southern end of the campus. Construction on the second residence hall will begin in mid-2001. This fall, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, which will provide a teaching laboratory and increased exhibition space, will open on campus. A new Child Care Center is scheduled to open in January. This facility will provide daycare for the preschool children of SUNY New Paltz students, faculty and staff, as well as community members when space is available.
Note to editors: A design plan for the main level of the new gymnasium, rendered by The Hillier Group, can be viewed and downloaded from the SUNY New Paltz web site at http://www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/arcenter.html.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.